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Basic Gearing

Old 01-15-16, 12:57 PM
  #1  
seperry
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Basic Gearing

Summation
Ok, let's sum this all up.
The shift lever or twist grip on the left hand side of your handlebar shifts the front derailleur allowing you to choose one of three ranges to ride in. The one on the right shifts the rear derailleur allowing you to make small changes within each range.
If you feel like you're pedaling too hard, use the right hand shifter to switch to an easier gear (like from 7 down to 3 on your shift lever indicator). If you feel like the pedaling is too easy or you're pedaling too fast, use the right hand shifter to switch to an harder gear (like from 4 up to 8).
If you're riding in a hilly area, use the shifter on the left hand side to switch to the smaller (inside) chainring on your crank (position 1 on your shift lever indicator). If you're riding on a smooth flat surface and at a higher speed, use the left hand shifter to switch to the larger (outside) chainring (position number 3). For normal riding shift to the middle chainring (position number 2).
That's about all there is to it. Enjoy your ride. Article - Gearing - Roberts Cycle

I know this is general but it explains what you are trying to do with your gears when you ride a bike on a everyday basis. Notice it does not mention gear ratio,number of teeth, etc. It just mentions how you change gears with the shifters for each hand and situation. When I asked a question a couple of months a go about this and I used similar numbers to ask my question. I was treated with ridicule like I did not understand what I was saying. Here is article that summarizes using the same numbers I was. My point of making this thread is when someone is asking a question there is no need to give complicated answers when simple direct ones will do.

Last edited by seperry; 01-15-16 at 01:09 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 01-15-16, 01:25 PM
  #2  
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Makes sense to me. I would only add that there is a fair amount of overlap between the ranges, so you can achieve the same "gear" with different combinations.
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Old 01-15-16, 01:29 PM
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I think what we have here, is a failure to communicate.

I've been cycling for half a century and when someone says shift from 7 to 3, well, it just doesn't make much sense to me. If they say shifted from 60 inch gear to 72 inch gear, I get it.

But then again I ride a traditional 2x5 10 speed.
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Old 01-15-16, 03:55 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I think what we have here, is a failure to communicate.

I've been cycling for half a century and when someone says shift from 7 to 3, well, it just doesn't make much sense to me. If they say shifted from 60 inch gear to 72 inch gear, I get it.

But then again I ride a traditional 2x5 10 speed.
I've been cycling almost as long, and have no idea what my gear inches are. But since I am only a roadie on 700c wheels, I think in chainring x cog combinations. 39 x 25 for the steep uphills, and 53 X 12 down the other side.
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Old 01-15-16, 04:02 PM
  #5  
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Just get on the bike and ride. Shifting and being in the correct gear combination will become second nature after a short while. Have fun.
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Old 01-15-16, 04:05 PM
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Who has "shift lever indicators?" I've never ridden a bike with them, unless you count the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub on the bike I rode as a kid. As a result there is nothing simple about the answer provided.

And what's the point of this thread anyway? It's an answer looking for a question.
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Old 01-15-16, 04:18 PM
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Basic gearing.
1st gear, it's all right.
2nd gear, I'll lean right.
3rd gear hang on tight.
Faster, faster.
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Old 01-15-16, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Just get on the bike and ride. Shifting and being in the correct gear combination will become second nature after a short while. Have fun.
This.
And anyone that feels the need to grossly over complicate it by means of mathematics is OCD or just a fool imo
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Old 01-15-16, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Basic gearing.
1st gear, it's all right.
2nd gear, I'll lean right.
3rd gear hang on tight.
Faster, faster.
One of us is old!
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Old 01-15-16, 05:29 PM
  #10  
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Like the old joke goes "My fixed gear has three gears; Sitting, standing and pushing."
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Old 01-15-16, 05:43 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by seperry View Post
Summation
Ok, let's sum this all up.
The shift lever or twist grip on the left hand side of your handlebar shifts the front derailleur allowing you to choose one of three ranges to ride in. The one on the right shifts the rear derailleur allowing you to make small changes within each range.
If you feel like you're pedaling too hard, use the right hand shifter to switch to an easier gear (like from 7 down to 3 on your shift lever indicator). If you feel like the pedaling is too easy or you're pedaling too fast, use the right hand shifter to switch to an harder gear (like from 4 up to 8).
If you're riding in a hilly area, use the shifter on the left hand side to switch to the smaller (inside) chainring on your crank (position 1 on your shift lever indicator). If you're riding on a smooth flat surface and at a higher speed, use the left hand shifter to switch to the larger (outside) chainring (position number 3). For normal riding shift to the middle chainring (position number 2).
That's about all there is to it. Enjoy your ride. Article - Gearing - Roberts Cycle

I know this is general but it explains what you are trying to do with your gears when you ride a bike on a everyday basis. Notice it does not mention gear ratio,number of teeth, etc. It just mentions how you change gears with the shifters for each hand and situation. When I asked a question a couple of months a go about this and I used similar numbers to ask my question. I was treated with ridicule like I did not understand what I was saying. Here is article that summarizes using the same numbers I was. My point of making this thread is when someone is asking a question there is no need to give complicated answers when simple direct ones will do.
I'm not sure what is so simple or direct about the 'answer' you quoted. Articulate? Absolutely, but nothing simple about it. A simple answer would be more like "the left shifter is for big changes and the right shifter is for little changes" I can understand why you may feel that people aren't taking you seriously. It's a "much ado about nothing" thing IMHO. but what matters to me may not matter to you either.
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Old 01-15-16, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
..I think what we have here, is a failure to communicate...
A Guns-N-Roses fan?
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Old 01-15-16, 09:26 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by IK_biker View Post
Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
..I think what we have here, is a failure to communicate...
A Guns-N-Roses fan?
I think you need to spend a night in the box.
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Old 01-15-16, 09:36 PM
  #14  
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Basic Gear:
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Old 01-15-16, 09:45 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
I think you need to spend a night in the box.
Touche!
I had forgotten where this originally came from... Evidently ol' Axl Rose just stole it from the movie.
Thanks for setting me straight!
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Old 01-15-16, 10:32 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Basic gearing.
1st gear, it's all right.
2nd gear, I'll lean right.
3rd gear hang on tight.
Faster, faster.
Ding Ding WINNER
Sturmey Archer is the only gear you need.
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Old 01-15-16, 11:10 PM
  #17  
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Gear numbering is not consistent.

Neither, now, is shifting direction with SRAM twisties. I replaced the set on my wife's bike two years ago. The old set was a mirror left to right and thus worked in opposite directions, like shifters always have, and the left had three positions. The new one was the same basic unit left and right and thus they both got easier or harder in the same direction, and it had about twelve clicks to permit trim.
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Old 01-16-16, 06:29 AM
  #18  
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Basic Gearing

Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Just get on the bike and ride. Shifting and being in the correct gear combination will become second nature after a short while. Have fun.
For me, there is a synergistic, and intutitive relationship among gears, cadence and exertion. I previously posted about cadence:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I’m a 40+ year cyclist and I ride mainly for fitness. During nearly all of my 40 cycling years, my training has been by mileage. This year though, I decided to go for speed (intensity), and I use the semi-quantitative, standardized, but personally relavant system of (Borg’s) Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE), with my own particular adaptation…. I use cadence to chose gears to maintain my desired exertion.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
The RPE scale ranges from 6 to 17, with descriptions of the intensity. Multiply the RPE by 10 is the approximate heart rate. Jim's scale is the equivalent on a 0 to 100 scale, easier to think about:

RPE = 6, resting... Jim's scale = 10 to 20

RPE = 7, very, very light... Jim's scale = 20 to 30

RPE = 9, very light... Jim's scale = 30 to 40

11, fairly light...50 (my usual happy-go-lucky pace without thinking about it)

13, somewhat hard...60 (I have to focus to maintain)

15, hard...70 (I start breathing hard at about 30 seconds)

17, very hard (lactate threshold; breakpoint between hard but steady
breathing and labored with gasping)...80 (my predicted max HR)

19, very, very hard...90 to 100.
My basic training is to ride at my RPE of 50% for six miles to warm up, then cruise at an RPE of 60%, and do intervals (on hills) at 70%. I try to change gears to maintain a cadence of about 85-90 rpm on flats and rolling hills, and about 60 to 80 rpm on harder hills, to maintain my RPE. Shift up to higher gears as the cadence rises, and shift down as the RPE increases.

Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yes, Jim, good points; you make clear that cadence is simply nothing divorced of effort level.
...and gears are changed to maintain effort level. FWIW

Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
LISTEN to @Jim from Boston

he knows his $hit!

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-16-16 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 01-16-16, 07:17 AM
  #19  
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So nobody even mentions cross-chaining? My 2x6 bike won't let me get away with it. The chain rubs and slips off gears. Some people's bikes don't do those things, but the gears may still be suffering premature wear.

I have down-tube levers on that bike, and I've learned to translate lever positions into gear numbers. (Sometimes, though, I still glance between my feet to see where things are.) If it's not cross-chained, the bike is silky smooth. Happy bike = happy rider.
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Old 01-16-16, 07:58 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by habilis View Post
So nobody even mentions cross-chaining? My 2x6 bike won't let me get away with it. The chain rubs and slips off gears. Some people's bikes don't do those things, but the gears may still be suffering premature wear…
Besides cross-chaining, I have posted about this disaster, which I think is a different phenomenon.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…One other thing I learned during my trial phase of this training program is not to underestimate hills when doing intervals. I once was riding up a hill in too high a gear, barely pedaling to stay upright, and my chain fell off the front cog and got wedged between the seat tube and pedal crank. I had to pull so hard to remove it that I bent a link, causing the chain to skip with each rotation….
Originally Posted by habilis View Post
I have down-tube levers on that bike, and I've learned to translate lever positions into gear numbers. (Sometimes, though, I still glance between my feet to see where things are.) If it's not cross-chained, the bike is silky smooth. Happy bike = happy rider.
I too look down to see which of the front cogs I am riding. A nice benefit of my training program as described above is that I am riding much more on the larger cog, as increased exertion, as well as evening out the wear between the two cogs.

I had a downtube shifter on my Bridgestone RB-1 that was totalled in a crash about three years ago. Even now though on my replacement carbon fiber bike with trigger shifters, I occasionally reach down to shift as if the downtube levers were there. I liken it to a ”phantom itch” experienced by amputees; my bike was literally torn away from me.
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Old 01-16-16, 08:14 AM
  #21  
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When I was new to cycling, my friends put me on a bike with a computer that showed cadence. ( How many times your pedals make a complete rotation in a minute.) I believe they told me to adjust the gears so I was between 80-95. I never paid attention to what gear I was in and after that it becomes a feeling. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-16-16, 08:18 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Besides cross-chaining, I have posted about this disaster, which I think is a different phenomenon.




I too look down to see which of the front cogs I am riding. A nice benefit of my training program as described above is that I am riding much more on the larger cog, as increased exertion, as well as evening out the wear between the two cogs.

I had a downtube shifter on my Bridgestone RB-1 that was totalled in a crash about three years ago. Even now though on my replacement carbon fiber bike with trigger shifters, I occasionally reach down to shift as if the downtube levers were there. I liken it to a ”phantom itch” experienced by amputees; my bike was literally torn away from me.
Boy, do I know the phantom itch! I move between the downtube-shifter bike, an mtb with lever upshift and trigger downshift, another mtb with twist shifters, and a fixie that often has me wishing I could downshift. For more variety, I can try my wife's revised Dunelt with Nexus IGH, similar to a Sturmey-Archer 3-speed but with twist shift. All of this is my way of fighting Alzheimer's.

Last edited by habilis; 01-16-16 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 01-16-16, 09:10 AM
  #23  
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We're doomed. A few thousand years on the planet and we still can't communicate. Here's one reason why.

The gears (well, we call them gears, they are actually sprockets) on the front of the bike are never referred to as gears but as "chainrings", though they might more accurately be described as disks. The gears on the back of the bike are called gears, not rings or disks and never sprokets. There are several of them and as a group they are referred to as a cassette. There may be a couple gears, err, chainrings up front too, but they are not called a cassette. No group of gears is called a "group set", that is something else (don't ask).

It's OK to call cogs "teeth" if they are on gears, sprockets or chainrings. But the ratio of cogs between gears is always a gear ratio, never a cog, tooth or even sprocket ratio.

Oh, and that wheel on the back with all the gears , err sprockets on it that must be set in motion by the gears, err chainrings up front is called the "free wheel". Though only if it is not a free hub. The wheel on the front of the bike that turns freely in either direction is not called the free wheel, the hub does not enter into it.

(Edit: I've been corrected. It's worse than I thought (:-/

Pardon my confusion, I'm just listening to Toad the Wet Chainring )

Last edited by bargeon; 01-16-16 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 01-16-16, 09:15 AM
  #24  
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A nice Saturday morning smile! (Shakin' the bush, Boss)
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Old 01-16-16, 09:43 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bargeon View Post
We're doomed. A few thousand years on the planet and we still can't communicate. Here's one reason why.

The gears on the front of the bike are never referred to as gears but as "chainrings", though they might more accurately be described as disks. The gears on the back of the bike are called gears, not rings or disks. There are several of them and as a group they are referred to as a cassette. There may be a couple gears, err, chainrings up front too, but they are not called a cassette. No group of gears is called a "group set", that is something else (don't ask).

Oh, and that wheel on the back with all the gears on it that must be set in motion by the gears, err chainrings up front is called the "free wheel". The wheel on the front of the bike that turns freely in either direction is not called the free wheel.
It's only a freewheel if it's not a freehub. And my trash-found mtb came with two free wheels, a frame, and other junk.
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